Several steam engine schools offer the opportunity to learn from experienced steam engine instructors.
Participants at the 2016 Midwest Old Threshers Reunion Steam School pose for a group photo with a 12-ton 1905 Kelly Springfield road roller owned by Dave Gross and a 65 hp 1915 Case owned by Melinda Huisinga. Beginner and advanced steam engineers received classroom and hands-on instruction throughout the weekend.
Are you a beginner in steam, looking for qualified, personalized instruction, or a seasoned steam expert wanting a refresher? If so, consider enrolling in a steam school this year to acquire knowledge or to hone existing skills while meeting other steam enthusiasts.
Steam schools offer both classroom and hands-on instruction in the operation and maintenance of steam engines and place a strong emphasis on safety. Most schools provide meals, snacks and materials for the duration of the course, and some offer optional official practice exams or credit toward a license. But if you’re interested, don’t wait to register because courses fill up quickly!
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Midwest Old Threshers Reunion Steam School
The two-day course offers classroom instruction and hands-on experience. Materials, morning snacks and one lunch are included.
When: May 6-7
Where: Midwest Old Threshers grounds, Mount Pleasant
Materials, lunch, and morning and afternoon refreshments are included. Students who complete the class will receive 16 credit hours toward a Minnesota Hobby Engineer’s license. Class size is limited to 50 students. A complete synopsis of the class and online registration is available.
When: May 13-14
Where: Heritage Park of North Iowa, Forest City
For more information: Jerred Ruble, Director of Shows, Heritage Park of North Iowa, PO Box 27, Forest City, IA 50436; (641) 797-2697; email:
Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion/University of Rollag Steam School
When: June 17-18
Where: Steam Hill, Rollag
The two-day course offers classroom instruction and hands-on experience using a wide range of steam equipment, including stationary, traction, miniature and railroad engines. The class is certified for Minnesota, North Dakota and Ohio steam hobby licenses. WMSTR is the only training approved by the State of Minnesota not provided by a state-run entity. Materials and two meals are included. Class size is limited to 70; early enrollment is suggested as the course typically fills by May 1.
For more information: Tom Hall, University of Rollag, PO Box 999, Moorhead, MN 56561; (218) 233-1771.
Rough & Tumble Engineers Historical Assn. Steam School
When: May 20-21
Where: Rough & Tumble grounds, Kinzers
The two-day course emphasizes safety, maintenance and operation. Mornings are devoted to classroom instruction; afternoon sessions consist of hands-on experience, including cleaning, inspection, maintenance and operation. Students will be introduced to operating railroad engines, a steamroller and various steam traction equipment. All materials are included. Class size is limited to 27 students, age 14 and older. Applications are being accepted now; early application is suggested as the school fills quickly. Must be a Rough & Tumble member or join before the steam school starts.
When: April 8-9
Where: Fairfield View Dairy Farm, Somerset
The course is divided into classroom and hands-on sessions with qualified and experienced instructors focusing on the education, familiarization and safety in the operation and maintenance of steam engines. All course materials and two noon meals are included. Class size is limited to 20 students.
Wisconsin Historical Steam Engine Assn. 14th Annual Steam School
When: Sept. 22-23
Where: Rock River Thresheree show grounds, Edgerton
Subjects include steam theory, boiler construction, safety, maintenance and operation with hands-on experience. All materials, coffee, donuts and lunch on Saturday and Sunday are included. Free primitive camping is available on the show grounds. The American Society of Power Engineers test will be offered (but is not mandatory) on Sunday for an additional fee of $55. Class size is limited to 40; preregistration is required. Completion counts for 16 hours toward the required number to obtain a state operator’s license in Minnesota and Ohio.